Story of a babushka

Once upon a time, there was a child who was abandoned by his father and his mother. His grandmother was the one who took care of him. She showed him everything she knew: every herbal teas, every kind of meat and vegetable, about every edible and non-edible plant, about the stars and the sky, about the animals and other humans, about the nature and their protectors; but she never talked about his parents, about the death or war. And he never asked about it anyways.

One day, when he turned twelve, and was considered an adult, his grandmother, or babushka, as he called her, gave him a golden neckless with three beautiful gems, one of a different colour. She said “It is hard to say, but as you are the only grandson I have, you deserve to wear this, it belonged to my father and his father before him, it was supposed to be of your father, but…”

“My father?” The boy interrupted “who is he? Where is he? Why you have never told me about him?” The boy inquired “you told me I was a miracle, whose father and mother were the earth and the sky”

“Yes, perhaps it has been a lie everything what I have told you, but it is also true”

“Where are my parents?”

“You will not find them, and if you do, they will set you apart again”

“Again? What are you trying to say?”

“It is hard for me to tell you what really happened when I found you. But you should know the truth as now you are an adult. It was a warm winter when you bore, yet your father and mother were not prepared to have a child in those days, but also, they didn’t want to kill you, so they just say goodbye to me and gave you to me as a gift. I tried to talk with my son, your father, but he did not listen. They were in a hurry, and his only last words were “take care of him”, while your mother said “promise me you will not tell him about us”. Unfortunately, I have broken the promise in this moment. That is all you have to know about them, noting more, nothing less”

The child was confused about what he heard. Angry and sad, he went out and run as far as he could, until he found an apple tree, there he lied and talked with Chusca, the snake which protects the tree.

“Why did she lie to me?” He asked while his face was covered in tears.

“Are you talking to me or to yourself?” Asked the snake “As far as I know, all humans lie, it is in their blood, and I think you are not so different from them, you are just not so experienced enough. As soon as you realize the untold things or the unseen, you will know why to lie is so important in many cases, no, not in many cases, but always” the snake continued sliding down the tree. “You look noble and loyal, but you still lack of experience of the world which surrounds you, tell me, what do you know?”

“I now all the planets and stars, and know their meanings above us, I know when to do the harvest and when to eat; I recognize al the plants in the forests, therefore I can tell whether they are poisonous or not; I know all the paths in this world; I can tell about the people and the animals. And moreover, I know all the protectors of the nature, and I can say with no doubt, that you are just a snake”

“You know that paths of this city, you know about the people of this city, you know about the animals and plants of the forest which surrounds this city, but you know nothing more. Even more, do you know who am I?”

“No” the boy replied

“I am the protector of the Mela (apple in Italian), the tree of wisdom, and it is my duty to show you the real path of the life”

“That’s impossible!” The boy said with a loud voice “I do not even know why I am talking to you, Babushka never told me about you, you are just a snake”

“Yes, I am a snake, and I am a protector. But your Babushka, as you call your grandmother, may lie to you, she did it with your parents, so she could do it with all the things she taught you.”

The boy started hesitating and thinking about all his past. He wanted to think, he even said to himself that his grandmother is a good person and wanted the best for him; in the other hand, the speech from the snake was also convincing.

He said goodbye to the snake, and returned to home. There he said goodbye to his grandmother, “I want to see the world with my own eyes, I want to know all the paths and not only the ones of the city”. After that, he prepared his baggage and sailed to the west. Oh! Great and long voyage he made, he discovered almost all the unknown places, but he did not say anything to anyone, it was his knowledge and his lie. After ten years or more, he returned to his country, but instead of taking the common route from the port to the city, he decided to pass to the nearby villages. In one of them, he saw someone with the same eyes as his grandmother. He thought immediately about his father. He followed the man during all the day, this man looked deprecated, and he did not eat during all the day, just a piece of bread that someone gave him. The man tried to talk with the people, asking or begging, but he could not say a word. At the end of the day, the man went to a hunt outside of the village, and there a woman, who had grey hairs, was sitting outside, waiting for her husband. All her body was trembling, as if she was ill. Both, husband and wife did not say any recognizable word, but they understood each other. The young man stayed in the village for a week, surviving with the animals he haunted and the berries and fruits he found in the forest. The whole week he spied the couple, who looked everyday more and more death than alive. Finally, it was Sunday when the young man has collected a good amount of food and decided to give them to the couple, unfortunately that days has been the last day of the couple, who were lying in their bed, hugging each other, and death, with a smile in their faces. The young man started to weep, he hug them also, and then, while his tears still dropping from his eyes, and he searched into the hunt. But he found nothing. He move the furniture, open all the drawers and doors, but nothing about them appeared. Until the end of the day, he saw that the woman has a small piece of paper in her hands, he took it and read it.

“You saw us in our worst moment, and we saw you in your best. Take care, my son”


Those words made a big hole in his heart, he was spying them, and he could not do anything to save his parents.

He stayed inside the hunt during the night, and after midnight, when no sound is to be heard, and no star nor moon is to be seen, Glaza, the spirit of the death corpses, knock at the door. The young man jump from the floor, and asked “who’s out there?” But no voice answered. The knocked was heard again and the young man asked again, the spirit answer “Glaza, the spirit of the death corpses”

The young man open the door and replied “My grandmother told me something about you, you are meant to take away the bodies of the death people, aren’t you?”

“Your grandmother taught you well, now, show me the corpses”

The boy pointed to the bed, and Glaza asked “Do you want to ask or listen to them for the last time?”

The eyes of the man were lightened by a spark of hope, he said yes with no doubt.

The couple stood up again, and they talked with so gracious manners, the mother said “I am so glad to see you again, it has been nearly 30 years since you were born”

“But, why did you abandon me?”

“We didn’t” replied the father “My mother poisoned our food after you bore, we remained captive as slaves in her house, while she was taking care of you. And now I can see she has made a great job”

“We have to go” said the mother “keep that spark alive in your eyes, do not be selfish and be noble with the people who surrounds you, remember all the good things the people did for you, and not the bad, as we are not perfect, we feel sorry for not be part of your life, but we will stay with you until the end of your life”

After that, Glaza took away the corpses, and wished a good night to the man.


One month later, he returned to his home, where he tried to kill her grandmother for what she had done. But then, he remembered his mother’s words, and instead of doing what he had planned, he gave her a hug and cried, after that he said sorry. His grandmother replied “after all, I have to tell you something, I am not your grandmother, your father was someone who I really adopted, when I found him abandoned in the forest. He was a good boy, but he turned evil when he met your mother, she was a disgusting person, no one in the town bear to see her or be with her, but your dad did. I tried to convince him to open his eyes, but after that, he tried several times to kill me or at least, to throw me to the forest. He never knew I wasn’t his mother. I was so stupid then, that when I discovered they would have a baby, you, I planned my vengeance. They managed to escape somehow, and now you tell me they died in happiness. I regret about the decisions I have made, but we are not perfect, as you know, I feel sorry for you and the family I adopted, I know I could have done more, but time does not forgive, and now, we have to let go what we have done, in order to continue our lives.


The man said for the last time ” I love you my babushka, take care, as I will leave this city tomorrow, I have nothing more to say, just thank you for the time you had for me, do not worry about you have done, do not worry about me, do not even worry about the future, just be happy as I am now, that I see the truthiness in your eyes” both hug, and that was the last time they saw each other.


Finally, in the last seconds of his life, the father, mother and grandmother were around their son, all of them said “We have been there, with you, until the end, and now we are going to the sky together”

Family was reunited at the end.


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